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“Brief Garden” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Brief Garden - Bevis Bawa

Brief Garden - Bevis Bawa
Kalawila Village, Beruwala, Bentota 12070, Sri Lanka
034 227 4462
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Ranked #6 of 13 Attractions in Bentota
Type: Gardens, Outdoors
Attraction details
Scotland
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Brief Garden”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2012

Amazing garden and house in the middle of the jungle with wonderful views lovely sculptures and lots of interesting little nooks and crannies to explore , great place to spend a morning.Interesting library and [hotographs in the house

Visited November 2011
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164 reviews from our community

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Hobart, Australia
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Persistence rewarded, multifold”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2012

Finding Brief is not easy, as testified by other reviewers, but every uncertain turn on the ever narrowing roads is rewarded from the moment you walk through the arched gate. The 1000 rupee entrance fee (which helps to maintain the gardens to the traditional standard established under Bevis Bawa) is a tourist bargain. We were free to roam at our leisure and spent nearly 3 hours exploring the gardens and house. The tea spontaneously provided was an unexpected and lovely bonus, as was the tour of the house and historic features. As Australians, we were especially interested in the sculptures and art work of Donald Friend who lived at Brief for several years. His mural of Sri Lankan life, painted on the wall of the main room, was fascinating. The wonderful hospitality of the current owners, the de Silva family, who have enjoyed a long connection to Brief dating back to the Bawa era, the extraordinary beauty and layoutvof the gardens and the tranquility of the setting made Brief the most memorable experience of our Sri Lankan trip. Better signposting and promotion would encourage more visitors I am sure.

Visited August 2012
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Pune
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
“BRIEF rather too brief”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2012

As an antidote to the hedonistic beaches of southern Sri Lanka, we decided to go inland and explore the attractions that lay within. A visit to the Brief Garden associated with Bevis Bawa (1909-1992) older brother of the more famous Geoffrey Bawa, the renowned architecht,seemed to be just what the doctor ordered. The road trip to the location once one left the main Galle Road at Bentota and traversing narrow rural roads and ups and downs was itself a challenge as there was virtually no signposting. When we finally reached it, the imposing entrance to Brief ( named after the association with lawyers holding briefs)with its ivy covered walls and cement sculptures standing guard over the iron gate was startling.Another shock was the steep entrance fees - Rs 1000SLK per head - which was collected at the door after which we were sheperded into the gardens to find our way about while an earlier Sunday meeting of a local association concluded its tea party.
The gardens are the real star of the show, and despite the size having been reduced to just five acres, one could visualise the arboreal grandeur that must have existed in its full majesty.
A botanist-guide who knew the trees and the manner in which they came to be would have been appreciated. We finally were admitted to the main house - just about a hour to closing time - and got a rather canned conducted tour where the guide repeated himself several times.
The architecture and the imprint of Barbara Sansoni and Donald Friend,the Australian artist during his five-year stay there in the 1950s are absorbing to explore,The sculptures , paintings, courtyards, open air showers and fountains all made their own quiet statements.
One could have lingered more but closing hour beckoned and a cuppatea - which sadly never came - would have befitted the admission ticket and the host.

Visited September 2012
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Chennai (Madras), India
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Worth a visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2012

Being an architect loved visiting the house and the gardens. Well designed.Worth a visiting to see both the residence and the landscape.A unique view of the house of an architect himself.

Visited September 2012
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Vinnitsa
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Unexpected paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012

One does not expect to see anything like this in a Sri Lankian village. It's stunning from the entrance gate till the last step, a magical mix of tropical nature, Ancient Greece, South Asia, a song to life, beauty, love and loss..
And the park's manager deserves special mention for his intelligent tour through the park and museum with respect and devotion to the beautiful place and its great creator.

Visited July 2012
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